Smarty Pants Podcast

Witches Never Die

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Burial practices around the world, from mummies to dancing skulls, and the history of magic’s bad girls

Landis Blair (courtesy W. W. Norton)

By Stephanie Bastek

October 27, 2017


 

Our Halloween special covers two subjects perfect for your next macabre dinner party: how the witch gained her powers, and the myriad alternatives to a casket. Caitlin Doughty, the Internet’s favorite mortician, tells us about her world travels in search of the holy grail of corpse interaction—along with a few other stories that illuminate our changing relationship with the afterlife. And Ronald Hutton, medieval historian and witch expert, goes into the history of fear surrounding one of the oldest scapegoats in the world.



Go beyond the episode:


A selection of Landis Blair’s illustrations of scenes in South Sulawesi, Tokyo, and La Paz:



Tune in every two weeks to catch interviews with the liveliest voices from literature, the arts, sciences, history, and public affairs; reports on cutting-edge works in progress; long-form narratives; and compelling excerpts from new books. Hosted by Stephanie Bastek.

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Music featured from Master Toad (“Dreadful Mansion”), Dead End Canada (“Witch Hunt”), and 8bit Betty (“Spooky Loop”), courtesy of the Free Music Archive. Our theme music was composed by Nathan Prillaman.


Stephanie Bastek is the associate editor of the Scholar and the producer/host of the Smarty Pants podcast.


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